People recently started to report
sites asking them to pay by SMS/text messages to install Windows Live Messenger (MSN) or Messenger Plus!. This isn't something new, sites like these have unfortunately existed for years and were never taken down. However, it looks like these kind of malware sites started to advertise on a large scale on places like Google Adsense. Just google for "Live Messenger"
and you'll get multiple ads.
Windows Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! are 100% free, you must never activate their installation by phone. Always download software from the official sites.
Windows Live Messenger (formerly named MSN Messenger) can be found on http://download.live.com/messenger
Messenger Plus! Live can be found on http://www.msgpluslive.net/download/
Because software like Live Messenger and Messenger Plus! are freeware you can send it to your friends and other sites are allowed to redistribute it. However, it is not
allowed to be sold. It is a scam if a site is asking you to send a text message from your mobile. While these type of sites may look very official they have no permission or connection to Microsoft or Patchou. The people making these sites are trying to earn some quick money by charging you a premium rate for the messages you sent. Often this automatically registers you for a subscription based service where you keep paying for the text messages you receive until you unsubscribe. Unsubscribing is intentionally made very hard to make you pay as much as possible. If you were victim of one of these sites, make sure you unsubscribe so you stop receiving paid messages
, contact your mobile phone network if you're unsure how to stop the service.
Even if a site does not ask you to pay, the file you download could still be modified to include a virus, for that reason always download from the official site
or a trusted mirror.
For those who want to help fight these kind of sites (Do not download from these sites
Not only are these sites malware by making the visitor pay to install freeware software, the files they offer also seem to contain viruses. These are reports from a few downloads on the sites above:
Complaining to their hosters might help (although unsuccessful last time), reporting these sites as malware/phishing inside your browser might also help.